Culture minister Linda Fabiani, schools minister Maureen Watt and housing and sports minister Stewart Maxwell all lost their junior ministerial roles in Salmond's first reshuffle. The sport portfolio has been added to public Health Minister Shona Robinson's brief. Mike Russell has moved to Culture while his environment brief has been taken up by Roseanna Cunningham. Also arriving is Alex Neil as a revamped communities and housing minister. With Keith Brown stepping up to assist Fiona Hyslop as the new education minister for schools and skills.
As Mike Rumbles, Lib Dem chief whip put it:
"I'm delighted that Alex Neil's ultra loyalty has finally been rewarded. The lesson of this reshuffle is that slavish adoration of the first minister pays dividends."
Labour health spokesperson Cathy Jamieson said the reason for Maxwell's demise was plain:
"The number of new homes being built in our two biggest cities is falling off the edge of a cliff.
"The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations reports that its members are being forced to reduce their ambitions and shelve badly needed developments because of funding cuts by the SNP government."
So the high noon of the short sgian dubhs is over. Buried under a heap of Scottish Banking news. Does it show that in culture, education, housing and sports that the SNP are failing to deliver?Certainly the team that had been responsible must have been. Shockingly do they really think that Environment has been a success with Maxwell's move to Culture? Or have they failed there to and are just shifting out the dross?